Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

A New Portrait of Augustine

When visitors take the special tour of our extensive Archives and Collections department on the third floor, they invariably comment that we must know everything there is to know about the Pardee/Van Wickle family. But … Read more.

Pierre Casteran And Bill Cunningham

Pierre Casteran was the son of a wealthy French family who visited Blithewold several times in the 1950s and 1960s. The late Bill Cunningham, as many are aware, was the American fashion photographer for the … Read more.

A New Painting by Marjorie

Blithewold has in its collection more than 500 paintings by Marjorie Van Wickle Lyon. Some are exhibited in the Mansion; many more are stored safely in the Archives and Collections facility on the third floor. … Read more.

Captain George A. Lyon

George Lyon was a captain in World War I. In July 1918, as he waited for orders to Europe, he wrote a touching letter to his wife, Marjorie, “…a farewell note to tell you how … Read more.

Shared History

At the end of August 2018, on a beautiful sunny day, two Pardee cousins got together at Blithewold to reminisce about ninety years of shared history. Marjorie Jeffries is the granddaughter of Bessie Pardee Van … Read more.

The First Pardee Family Reunion

Bessie Pardee Van Wickle McKee was the twelfth of Ario Pardee’s 15 children. She was raised in a large mansion in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, as a strict Presbyterian with strong family values. The Pardee children remained … Read more.

Le Bosquet by Samuel Dean

Upon a gentle upland Bordering on a sunlit bay There lies a sylvan glade; Its length o’ertopped By waving branches Of lofty trees That offer cooling haven To those who seek their shade. When beams … Read more.

The Missing Portrait

In 1912 the French portrait painter Henry Caro-Delvaille sailed from Cherbourg to New York on the S.S. France. Among his fellow passengers was Walter Kilham, an old friend of Bessie and William McKee and the … Read more.

A Trip on the Marjorie: Cuba and Jamaica, 1900

In March 1900, Bessie Van Wickle took possession of the new 174-foot yacht that her husband Augustus had commissioned two years earlier. It was built by the Delaware River Iron Shipbuilding and Engine Works in … Read more.

Halley’s Comet, 1910

On May 26, 1910, Estelle Clements saw Halley’s Comet; she wrote in her diary, “Fine sight of comet in p.m.” It was an historic occasion to which she gave short shrift, going on to write … Read more.